With the weather getting colder, energy price hikes imminent and a tough economic climate, it’s now more important than ever for businesses to be aware of the energy they’re using. A lot of concern in the news surrounds consumers, but a commitment to reducing energy consumption doesn’t stop in the home – small businesses have a big role to play in this as well.

In a recent Carbon Trust report, 90% of the public want firms to commit to the average 3% per year emissions cut required for the UK to meet its 2050 climate change targets. However, only 7% of those surveyed believe business pledges concerning their climate change responsibilities and actions to reduce their impacts.

So how can your business really change the small things to make a big difference? As part of Energy Saving Week this week, I’ve pulled together the below tips to help bring about key energy efficiency savings from use of everyday office equipment.

  1. Lower the thermostat by 1° Celsius in day time. On average this will save 240 kg of CO2 emission, which means that 12 fewer trees have to be planted in order to compensate the total amount of CO2 emissions. (And a 10% reduction of your energy bill!)
  2. Tell your staff to avoid the stand-by mode on office screens because each computer (with flat screen monitor) that’s left on standby overnight and at weekends wastes £20 a year. That’s £200 – and 860kg of CO2 – for every 10 computers in your company!
  3. Make sure your office manager has the correct print audit software so you can determine the real printing needs of the users on your network, and install the most appropriate and efficient printing solution.
  4. Consider alternative technology. Rather than using a laser printer, look to Business Inkjet printers as a solution. Some, for example, deliver up to 80% lower power consumption than a comparative laser printer.
  5. If your business has a large fleet of laser printers, consider using one universal driver. This one driver for all printers will only need one interface, allowing for consistent environmentally-friendly settings such as double sided printing.
  6. Consider a projector rather than a TV screen for meeting room displays. The energy consumption of a projector is the same regardless of screen size. If you have several projectors within your organisation, think about having them networked. This allows the projectors to be centrally managed and maintained from one point, with automated scheduling possible to ensure they are only using power when needed.
  7. When choosing a stand alone scanner look for one with an LED light source. This often uses less power than a traditional scanner and, with no warm up time, it’s faster to use as well.
  8. In the summer use a ventilator, otherwise known as an air-cooling system, rather than air conditioning. A ventilator can reduce the temperature by 2° to 5° Celsius and can use as little as one sixtieth the energy of an air-conditioning machine.